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Turner Exec: DTV Transition Will Hurt Broadcast Ratings

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The broadcast networks are already having a “turbulent” TV season, shedding more than 2 million viewers, and the transition to all-digital signals in February will hurt the medium even more, a top Turner research executive said Wednesday.

“The broadcast networks know. The broadcast stations know this is a significant, substantial challenge to their futures,” Turner chief research officer Jack Wakshlag said.

At a year-end ratings press briefing here, Wakshlag also told reporters that Jay Leno’s switch to the 10 p.m. time slot next fall on NBC will present an opportunity for cable to pick up viewers.

During his presentation, Wakshlag said the six broadcast networks have lost 2.6 million households in primetime season to date, the equivalent of the Philadelphia TV market.

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